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Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depth. Choose from our wide selection of pre-written pieces or commission custom notes that complement your concert story.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depths.

Custom Notes

Tell your own concert story by commissioning synopses and program notes that fit you needs. Just tell us what you’d like to have, and we'll get back to you with a quote.


Choose from dozens of ready-to-print program notes and synopses which you can download instantly as a digital file, including a license to reproduce the notes in programs and on your website.*

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* - Notes may be displayed on your website for one year following the performance. Contact us to discuss a longer duration.

Ready-to-Print notes and synopses are priced by length. Need something longer or shorter? Submit a Quote Request for Custom Notes to ask for a modified version, and we'll make it happen!

Barber: Capricorn Concerto

Barber: Capricorn Concerto


613 words
note by Chris Myers

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When the nation goes to war, even musicians have to do their part, and composers ranging from Ravel and Berg to Messiaen and Vaughan Williams found themselves serving their countries during the First and Second World Wars. In 1942, Samuel Barber received a draft notice from the US Army, and on September 16, he reported for basic training. His military duties initially made it difficult for him to compose—his request to do so in a vacant room during his free time was denied by a superior officer as “dangerous military precedent”—but in August, his proposal to create a symphonic work in honor of fighter pilots came to the attention of General Barton K. Yount, whose wife was a great music lover.
By the end of the month, Private First Class Samuel Barber found himself transferred to the Army Air Corps in Fort Worth, Texas, reporting directly to the General. Yount soon decided that Barber was most valuable to the war effort if he was composing music in the “best working conditions possible”. Barber spent the rest of the war “assigned” to West Point, which allowed him to compose at the new home he purchased in Mount Kisco, New York, with his partner, Gian Carlo Menotti—a house they dubbed “Capricorn” due to the impressive amount of light it received during the winter months. They quickly fell in love with the place, and Capricorn would serve as their home for the next thirty years.

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